Susan Lee JohnsonJul 30, 2021
Writing Kit Carson
Fallen Heroes in a Changing West
UNC Press 2020
Jennifer Holland (Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma) speaks with Susan Johnson (Harry Reid Endowed Chair, History of the Intermountain West, University of Las Vegas-Nevada) about Johnson’s recent book, Writing Kit Carson: Fallen Heroes in a Changing West (UNC Press, 2020).
In this conversation, Susan Johnson addresses how some of the questions and tools developed by historians of women and gender have shaped her own research in the history of the US West. These tools are on full display in Johnson’s most recent publication, a dual biography of Quantrille McClung and Bernice Blackwelder, white women and amateur historians who both researched the singular life of frontiersman, Christopher ‘Kit’ Carson. Plumbing their relationships with each other and their historical subjects, Johnson provides a sensitive account of how McClung and Blackwelder reckoned with a violent and complicated past.